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The Top 9 Vitamins For Boosting Your Immune System And Preventing Illness


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Your immune system doesn’t actually take vacations. It’s always in high gear, whether you’re battling a cold or recovering from an infection. However, eating, contrary to popular belief, has a significant impact on your immunity, and there are some simple (and delicious) strategies to maintain a strong immune system. Introducing vitamins to help the immune system.

According to Stacey Simon, RDN of Top Nutrition Coaching, “Nutrients from our food, including vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like proteins, lipids, and carbs, are essential for immune cell synthesis and general immunological function.”

Although there is no such thing as an “immunity diet,” getting enough vitamins and minerals can help avoid dietary deficiencies, which can cause the immune function to deteriorate. An overall balanced diet rich in a range of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains can help us ingest enough of certain nutrients to prevent deficiency and maintain a strong immune system, says Simon, as opposed to cherry-picking or adding nutrients here and there.

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You may be asking, “What about supplements?” at this point. Simon always advises food first, even though there are times and situations when they are appropriate, such as if you are pregnant, have nutrient deficiencies, are healing from a disease, or are recovering from surgery. “Consider using supplements as a tool to fill in the gaps in an otherwise nutritious and balanced diet,” she advises.

Always with your doctor before using supplements because they are not governed by the FDA and because consuming too much of a nutrient might have negative effects. There is frequently no need to supplement with a megadose unless you are nutrient deficient, according to Simon. In fact, the body processes and uses nutrients from food more effectively.

Additionally, there are additional elements at work in immunological health besides nutrition. Your immune system’s performance is also impacted by things like heredity, autoimmune illnesses, certain drugs, sleep quality, and stress. Simon says, “We have to make sure we’re maintaining our defense on all of these fronts.

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Try including these 10 crucial vitamins and nutrients in your diet if you want to maintain optimal immunological health.


According to Simon, protein is crucial for cell growth, wound healing, and recuperation in addition to keeping you satisfied between meals and help you build muscle. “Amino acids, or the components of protein, support immune system health by assisting in the production of immune cells.”

And since they contain so many other essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, many protein sources provide a lot of “bang for your immune system buck,” continues Simon. Win-win situation!

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To gain actual sources of protein, she advises always choosing whole or fresh foods first. If you’re searching for high-protein snacks that you can take with you, try to find something that tastes the most like the actual thing and is free of additives and artificial coloring. Pro tip: It’s definitely advisable to avoid something if you read the ingredient list and are unclear about what it is.

alt=protein rich foods

Here are a few examples of naturally high-protein foods.

  • Eggs Chicken Turkey Fish
  • fatty beef
  • unflavored Greek yogurt

Vitamin C

Although you’ve probably heard that vitamin C helps the immune system and shortens the duration of a bothersome cold, it actually has a lot more benefits. As long as your skin barrier is intact, vitamin C helps wounds heal quickly, which is essential for maintaining your immune system, according to Simon.

Additionally, it has a potent antioxidant that lowers bodily inflammation, so lowering our chance of contracting illnesses and being sick. While orange juice may appear to be the best source of vitamin C, Simon also suggests consuming the following items to meet your needs.

alt=vitamin rich foods

Here are a few examples of naturally high-vitamin C foods

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Cantaloupe Bell peppers in red
  • Grapefruit

Vitamin D

According to Simon, vitamin D promotes immune cell function by reducing inflammation in the body and lowering the chance of infection. But here’s the thing—sunlight, not food, is the best source. Because it can dissolve in fats and oils and be stored in the body’s fatty tissue and liver, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. According to Harvard Health, strive for at least 15 minutes of sun exposure each day to help maintain healthy levels.

It’s crucial to eat supplements if you live in a cooler climate or can’t receive enough sun on a regular basis. “Vitamin D is one of those things that’s important to supplement with diet to cover the gap,” says Simon. “You might not necessarily feel any insufficiency, even if you’re somewhat deficient.”

The following are examples of foods high in vitamin D.

  • Salmon.
  • vitamin D-fortified orange juice.
  • enriched cereal.
  • Vitamin D-fortified dairy or plant milk, tuna.
  • Sardines.
  • Egg yolks.
Vitamin E

Another fat-soluble vitamin with potent antioxidant effects to boost the development of immune cells is vitamin E. Simon says that vitamin E “helps support the formation of T-cells, or the white blood cells that play a vital part in immunological functioning.” “Vitamin E supports the formation of those protective T-cells when we think of cells in the body that defend and fight off viruses,”

Include these vitamin E-rich foods on your menu to strengthen your immune system.

  • Eggs.
  • Nuts.
  • seeds of a sunflower.
  • bell peppers in red.
  • Spinach.
  • Kale.
  • Arugula.


Consider zinc to be an immune powerhouse. According to Simon, it not only has a significant impact on wound healing but also promotes the creation of T-cells, which in turn helps the development of immune cells. And although though some studies suggest that zinc may help shorten the duration of a common cold, there’s no need to consume excessive amounts of the mineral. By eating a typical, balanced diet, the majority of people can keep their zinc levels within a healthy range, according to Simon.

alt=foods rich in zinc

Numerous foods that you presumably already eat contain zinc, including the following.

  • Oysters.
  • Red meat.
  • Seafood.
  • Beans.
  • Nuts.
  • fortified cereal.
  • Chicken.


“We frequently think about iron as having a significant impact on our energy levels and overall health, but it also grows up those immune cells, enabling them to achieve full maturity so they can go off and perform their duties,” explains Simon.

Significant bleeding can lower your iron levels because iron is a key component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Because of this, research indicates that it’s crucial for menstruating women in particular to maintain iron levels and consume meals high in iron.

Consider including the high-iron foods listed below in your diet.

  • Beans.
  • Lentils.
  • Chicken.
  • lean meat.
  • Oysters.
  • enriched cereal.


Selenium is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to improve immunological function, improve heart health, and possibly even prevent cancer. Selenium also enhances heart health. Low selenium levels have been proven to impair immunological function, despite the fact that a typically balanced diet is usually suitable for your daily selenium consumption.

Stock up on some of the foods that are high in selenium.

  • Brazilian nut (Fun fact: According to Simon, eating one Brazil nut daily can help you achieve your requirement.)
  • Salmon
  • lean meat.
  • Chicken.
  • Turkey.
  • Tuna.
  • Shrimp.
  • Mushrooms.

According to Simon, inflammation is an indication that your body is working extra hard to mend or repair itself, but copper can significantly lessen its effects by scavenging free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can harm cells and cause disease, according to research; however, copper has antibacterial characteristics that can lessen their levels, which will ultimately lower inflammation.

However, keeping your copper levels in check is a bit of a balancing act because too little copper can impair your immune system while too much copper can be harmful and induce cell death. Simon emphasizes that there is no need to overthink it because copper poisoning is uncommon. To ensure we are getting enough copper and staying within that healthy range, she advises eating a balanced diet.

Try to eat a variety of foods by consuming some of the following.
  • Chocolate for baking without sugar.
  • Nuts.
  • seeds of a sunflower.
  • Potatoes (with the peel) (with the skin).
  • Shiitake fungi.
  • Oysters.

The healthy bacteria in your digestive system are probably what you think of when you hear the term “probiotics,” but according to Simon, they also have an impact on immune function. According to studies, probiotics help the body produce its own antibodies by increasing immune cell development and thwarting infection. According to some studies, probiotics may even be able to minimize urinary tract infections in females and prevent respiratory tract infections like the flu or the common cold.

The following list of foods contains a lot of probiotics.

  • Kimchi.
  • Sauerkraut.
  • Kombucha.
  • Tempeh.
  • Yogurt (with live active cultures) (with live active cultures).
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